Russia This Week is a weekly review by the MEMRI Russian Media Studies Project, covering the latest Russia-related news and analysis from media in Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe.
Photo Of The Week
A Russian Tupolev TU-142 flies by the USS Mount Whitney during the NATO-led Trident Juncture drills. (Source: Rt.com)
Quote Of The Week:
Russian Diplomat: Yes, Russia Is Getting Ready For War
Speaking at the UN, Andrey Belousov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control:
"Recently the US representatives claimed that Russia is preparing for war. Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I confirm that. Yes, we are preparing to defend our motherland, our territorial integrity, our principles and our people. We are preparng for such a war. Yet, a significant difference exists between us and the US. Linguistically, this difference consist of one word only – both in Russian and in English: Russia is preparing for a war, the US is preparing a war. Otherwise, why would the US pull out of [the INF treaty], boost its nuclear arsenal, adopt a new nuclear doctrine, which lowers the nuclear weapons threshold? That's a question for all of us."
(Ria.ru, October 27, 2018)
In The News:
- US-Russia Drums Of War
- Russian Expert Sivkov: We Should Make The Nuclear War An Irrational And Senseless Choice For An Aggressor
- The Concept Of Democracy
- 'Hunter Killer' Movie Facing Troubles In Russia
- NATO Update
US-Russia Drums Of War
Russia Plans To Deploy 16 Samarkand Electronic Warfare
Russia's Defense Ministry plans to deploy 16 Samarkand electronic warfare systems in 13 military units, a document published on the ministry's state procurement website said. Three types of Samarkand electronic warfare systems will be sent to Kaliningrad, Murmansk and other areas of northwestern Russia, and also to the Far East's Primorye Region.
The contract to the tune of 61 mln rubles ($929,000) is due to be implemented by November 10, 2019.
The Northern Fleet received the Samarkand electronic warfare systems in 2017. Samarkand is designed to assess electromagnetic situation, search, detect and analyze radio emissions.
(Tass.com, October 28, 2018)
The RBC news agency added that the system will also be deployed in Belorussia, while the Belorussia and Kaliningrad regions are considered to be strategic areas.
(Rbc.ru, October 28, 2018)
According to Yuri Knutov, director of Russia's Air defense systems museum, the Samarkand systems are able to totally disrupt NATO's command and control centers in Europe. Knutov added that thanks to the Samarkand systems, Russia's military may be able to "deter [NATO] alliance forces from aggression" with minimal financial investment.
(Ria.ru, October 31, 2018)
Russia Conducted Military Trials For Tirada-2c Systems
Russia has conducted military trials for Tirada-2c systems, which are able to shut down an adversary's communication satellites– according to an Interfax source. "Tirada-2c system has accomplished the trials, state commission has issued its recommendations", told the source.
According to the same source, Tirada-2c is capable of shutting down communication satellites by electromagnetic jamming systems from Earth. The delivery of the system to the Ministry of Defense is planned to start during the current year.
(Interfax.ru, October 27, 2018)
"Undeclared War" Forces Russia To Boost Defense Spending
The Duma's Budget and Tax Committee Chairman Andrey Makarov told the Rossiya 1 TV channel:
"I think everybody understands that an undeclared war against us is underway. Not to spend money on defense is madness, only a madman can suggest such a thing. Nobody has forgotten the main thing - who does not want to feed his own army, will feed somebody else's army."
The Russian news agency TASS elaboarated further: "Russia plans to spend 2.9 trillion rubles on defense in 2019, 3 trillion rubles in 2020, and 3.2 trillion rubles in 2021, according to the explanatory note to the draft budget for 2019-2021."
(Tass.com, October 26, 2018)
- US builds up arsenals in Europe to deter Russia, experts say. Europe has received its largest shipment of ordinance from the United States since NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Russian experts told TASS that building up arsenals is connected to deterring Russia and possibly preparing for war. (Tass.com, October 27, 2018; read the full article)
- Kalashnikov gunmaker creates satellite navigation signal suppressing system for drones. (Tass.com, October 24, 2018; read the full article)
Russian Expert Sivkov: We Should Make The Nuclear War An Irrational And Senseless Choice For An Aggressor
Following the discussion regarding the American pull out from the INF treaty and a possible arms race thereafter, Konstantin Sivkov, vice-president of the Russian Academy for Artillery and Missile Sciences, PHD of Military sciences, wrote the following in the VPK Military Industrial Courier journal:
"What should we do? Following in the USSR's footsteps will not succeed, meaning that it's impossible to create and organize ground forces capable of crushing NATO and occupying Europe. This impossibility is due to economic, demographic and moral reasons. There is only one solution: we should again make nuclear war an irrational and senseless choice for an aggressor.
"Today our country cannot quantitatively compete with the US in a nuclear arms race. Russia is not the USSR. We should be looking for an asymmetric response.
"Russia's advantage lies in its being the only one to have the technical capability for creating hypercaliber nuclear warheads – the equivalent of more than 100 megaton. Back in 1961 the USSR had a 58 megaton warhead, suited for combat use.
"Amassing an arsenal of 40-50 of such warheads for heavy Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles or long range torpedoes would establish a critical geo-physical danger for various zones located in the US, for example the Yellowstone volcano or the Pacific coastal faults.
"A strike of this type would cause the destruction of the US as a state and of the entire transnational elite. Therefore, this option would make a nuclear war irrational again while the chances of starting such a war would approach zero.
"Moreover, such weapons, judging from the experiences of the USSR, would force the West to go to the negotiations table and refrain from all sanctions and an other forms of pressure against Russia, similarly to what happened with North Korea. Thereafter, international relations would return to normalcy."
(Vpk-news.ru, October 23, 2018)
The Concept Of Democracy
PM Medvedev Warned Against Imposing Democracy On Other Countries
At a session of the General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the West should stop imposing democracy on other countries:
"We all understand that what was called neocolonialism in the 20th century still persists as a phenomenon… "There are countries that are trying to forcibly impose their vision of the world order on other nations, allegedly for their own good, to teach them what democracy is and how their political system should be built, how the legal system should be developed and how to act in the coordinate system between superior and the subordinate…
"However, it is well known that you can't be strong-armed into heaven, and these intentions cannot be justified by any benefits whatsoever… Each nation determines its own fate by itself."
(Tass.com, October 26, 2018)
Senator Kosachev: Every Nation Is Entitled To "Choose Its Sovereign National Development Path"
Speaking before the 10th General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), Konstantin Kosachev, the Chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee and member of the Supreme Council of the United Russia political party said:
"The modern world continues to exist on the principle of blocs to a large extent, where interests rather than values turn out to be a priority. To my deep regret, these interests in the modern world materialize by suppressing or ignoring the interests of other states and peoples that are not members of certain blocs…
Kosachev added that this bloc system is "destroying humanity". He explained: "Once attempts are made to indoctrinate society, the country or the globe with only one correct point of view, then this society and this world will certainly slow down their development rather than accelerate it."
He also emphasized that every nation is entitled to "choose its sovereign national development path." "That goes for its economy, political structure and party system," Kosachev said.
He cited the Soviet Union as an example, which had a one-party system that had both its pros and cons, for nearly 70 years. Later on, another path was chosen and a multi-party system was created. "That was our own choice, the choice of our people rather than a model imposed on us by force from the outside," Kosachev noted.
"We consider any party, political and economic system to be the sovereign right of a people living in a particular country. This right is not subject to pressure and adjustment from the outside," he stressed.
(Tass.com, October 26, 2018)
See also MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7730, Former Kremlin Advisor Karaganov: Our People Are Anti-Western; Authoritarianism Is Not Imposed On Us From Above, History Shaped Our Genetic Code, October 25, 2018.
'Hunter Killer' Movie Facing Troubles In Russia
The Russian Ministry of Culture postponed issuing a screening permit for the US produced "Hunter Killer" action film by Donovan Marsh. The movie with a mixed American-Russian cast, depicts a US submarine crew, which tries to prevent a nuclear Third World War. According to the plot, the US crew participates in saving the Russian president from abduction by rebels who staged a coup.
The movie should have begun screening on November 1, but the lack of permit makes the screening in movie theatres illegal. As of now, the distribution company Megogo requested the movie theaters to postpone all scheduled showings of the movie.
(Iz.ru, November 1, 2018)
NATO's Trident Juncture Exercise Draws Russian Condemnation And A Tupolev Party Crasher
The “Trident Juncture-2018”
The "Trident Juncture-2018" (October 25-November 7) are meant to test the NATO Allies' ability to defend populations and territories. It is happening in the air, on land, at sea and in cyberspace. The "Trident Juncture-2018" are NATO's biggest exercise in recent years.
Russia's MFA: The Trident Juncture-2018 Exercises Are Not In Line With The Efforts To Develop Confidence-Building In The Baltic Sea Region
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia stated:
"On October 25th (actually a few weeks ago), on Norwegian territory, in the Baltic Sea and in the North Atlantic, the Joint Armed Forces of NATO started some operational and tactical drills under the name of 'Trident Juncture-2018'. The contingents of member countries of the alliance and of individual partners (Finland and Sweden), operated defensive and, most importantly, offensive maneuvers in different types of environment – land, sea, air and cyberspace – simulating a 'high intensity' conflict against an 'enemy of similar strength'. A special feature of these exercises is the training of military personnel for actions under low temperature conditions.
"Despite the rather naive attempts, by the representatives of the Alliance and its member states, to present such military activity as defensive, it is obvious that this ostentation of military might has a clear anti-Russian connotation. In particular, in the framework of the 'Trident Juncture-2018', NATO's tactics for the military 'contention' of Russia will be tested under climatic conditions which are very similar to Russia's. The information that the Alliance provided in the framework of the Russia-NATO Council, as well as in the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation in Vienna do not eliminate our preoccupations. Especially, considering that 'at the last moment', the number of military personnel involved in the drills increased by 50 thousand units, and that a nuclear aircraft carrier and amphibious paratrooper groups of the US Navy also joined in. We cannot ignore the fact that certain parts of the 'Trident Juncture-2018' will be held at facilities located just 200 km from the Russian border.
"In recent months, we have seen many reports concerning the transfer of military buildup of NATO member countries to the exercise area, which resembled wartime reports. Obviously, to justify such a dubious and provocative action, the NATO side is orchestrating an anti-Russian information campaign.
"All this negatively affects the security of all neighboring countries, exacerbates the military-political situation and it is not in line with the efforts that are being deployed in order to develop new confidence-building measures in the Baltic Sea region.
"The announced willingness to defuse existing tensions and reduce the risks of military activities needs to be confirmed in practice. This means that it should be avoided to turn a territory of cooperation, which traditionally Northern Europe has always been, into an area of potential confrontation."
(Mid.ru, October 25, 2018)
Russian Tu-142 Bomber Blindsiding A US Flagship Taking Part In The Trident Juncture
RT published the photos of a 18 drills.
RT also reported: "Spectacular photos of the flyby have expectedly sparked a media uproar, while Moscow called the flight routine.
"The plane appeared in the air at the very moment the marines on board the USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the US Sixth Fleet, gathered on deck for a group photo. The flyby provided the American troops with a rare opportunity to check out the Tu-142, which NATO codenamed 'Bear-F.'
"'It's a long-range maritime patrol reconnaissance plane,' one of the marines said. Military.com reported that the US soldier was 'fascinated' as he witnessed the Russian Bear live in the air for the first time.
"But tabloids, among them The Sun, rushed to sensationalize the incident, saying that the Russian plane was 'risking all-out war with 29 allied states' – if not an all-out Third World War.
"Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed that two Tu-142 anti-submarine aircraft performed a planned flight over the neutral waters of the Norwegian Sea on Friday. The planes spent 12 hours in the air and successfully returned to base in the Russian northern-central Vologda Region.
"'All flights of the naval aircraft of the Russian Navy are carried out in strict accordance with the international rules for the use of airspace without violating the borders of other countries,' the ministry said."
(Rt.com, November 3, 2018)
- Russia will have to create a defense belt near Sochi, if Georgia becomes a member of NATO, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's European cooperation department, Andrei Kelin, said in a Valdai Discussion Club experts panel discussion on NATO's Future and Russia's Interests. (Tass.com, October 29, 2018; read the full article)
- NATO's confrontation policy against Russia may lead to an arms race, which will be very hard to deter, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and Russia's former permanent representative to NATO stated during that same panel. (Tass.com, October 29, 2018; read the full article)